ForeWord Reviews

great books independent voices

The Twelfth Stone

Foreword Review — Sept / Oct 2011

In this race to find a fugitive, the runaway is no criminal—she’s a fairy princess. Rionnag is fleeing a marriage that was arranged several hundred years before her birth. If this union does not occur, it could mean the end of the world. This beautifully written book is filled with intrigue and a plethora of great characters. In Grimm’s Fairy Tales there were bad fairies with foul mouths, minds, and manners. Unfortunately, the more modern (Disney-style) versions are sanitized. This book brings back some of the original, entertaining fairy spirit.

Self-discovery is the book’s primary theme. While good guys and bad guys look for Rionnag, she is with her friend Fiona, learning much about each other and themselves. Not many humans can still see fairies, but Fiona, her grandma, her mother, and aunt are exceptions. Changelings, kidnapped humans, and various other monsters also figure in important roles. The characters speak a blend of Scottish and English that’s a bit confusing at first, but feels familiar after a few pages.

Aimed at teenagers, The Twelfth Stone may be more suitable for girls. Most boys generally don’t want to read about a character the size of a moth. And while its focus on environmentalism is virtuous, occasionally the dialogue reads like an Al Gore sermon. Despite being over the top in places, the book gets across the point that we all need to take better care of the earth.

Jana Laiz is a writer with a purpose: her first book detailed her time helping Vietnamese refugees. A publisher, author, environmentalist, and longtime educator, she studied the languages and cultures of Asia at New York University.

Among the other significant morals and lessons Laiz conveys in this book are confidence, gratitude, and empathy. Readers are encouraged to always keep their minds open, because when they do, amazing things can happen. The Twelfth Stone is a worthy and worthwhile read.

Joey A. Kane